My player is Madeleine Sheils.
What a day it was! Started with a nervous double on the first hole (had to make a twelve footer to do that) and finished with birds on sixteen and eighteen to secure tie for 21st place and great status for the LPGA Tour next season. Since Maddie had the best final round, she goes to the head of the list of the three that tied.
We were first out of the box at 7:30 with perfect conditions. Not a breath of breeze then all hell broke loose. A gusty SE wind came in with a vengeance and made picking the right stick a challenge.
We were paired with Katelyn Dambaugh and Celine Boutier (with “Douche-bag Doug” on the bag). Doug’s reputation on the Symetra Tour is not a good one which explains the moniker he’s been assigned. This brings us to the ninth hole.
The ninth is actually the eighteen – the way the course is laid out – but they were switched for the tournament. It’s a dogleg left par four with a large oak guarding the left side and a hazard short of the green. Usually one of the best holes on the course, it was substantially subdued yesterday being downwind. A good drive leaves you with a short approach.
Both Maddie and Katelyn split the middle with their drives but Celine turned over her three metal (which her caddie said was perfect as it left the clubface) and was blocked by the corner oak.
Instead of chipping out, they went for the green. The ball clipped the oak and entered the trees in the hazard on the left. Maddie, Katelyn and me all agreed it entered just right of a predominant palm.
The ball was found about six yards left of where it hit the trees but Maddie had the spot marked. Celine did not see it enter and agreed with Maddie’s assessment but not “Douche-bag Doug”.
He tried to take control and give his player a more favorable drop to the right which gave her a better shot at the green. An official was summoned and given Celine did not see the ball enter, Maddie’s spot was accepted.
Celine hit it over the green and a good chip saved a double. Maddie made birdie.
As we took the shortcut through the trees to the tenth tee, Doug ripped into Maddie about the drop and warned of “karma biting her in the ass”. My blood immediately went to full boil! “Stop right there!” I said with considerable forcefulness, “You have a bad rep and I will call that official back.” That stopped him in his tracks.
Turned out it was good karma that did the biting. On the tenth green Maddie sunk a bomb from the back fringe and slam-dunked another on sixteen – which was heading off the green if missed – and must of had Doug soiling himself.
As we finished on the final hole, Doug eschewed the customary pleasantries and turned his back on Maddie as she tried to shake his hand. A true douche if there ever was one.
Maddie had only one three putt in ninety holes. Not bad for a lass that doesn’t look at the ball when she putts from fifteen feet and in.🙂
Had one good night’s sleep all week. So happy it’s over. Have no desire to work this event again. I’m still wired and need some zzzzzzz🙂
As of yesterday morning, the pairings on the LPGA website were incorrect. The link pointed to Saturday’s instead. Pathetic!
In conclusion, I have never seen anyone work harder to achieve their dream. Somehow Maddie put it all together in the one week that counted the most. This was not the Maddie I have been watching all year. This was special. Her determination was unparalleled. Her confidence never wavered. It was as if her will overcame all obstacles.
Yesterday could have been disastrous given our start and the confrontation with the other caddie on the ninth hole, but Maddie’s internal fortitude prevailed. Be it destiny? Maybe. Whatever it was, I consider myself fortunate to have taken part. It was a very special day for both of us.
Now for a bit of levity.
Hurricane Matthew carved its way through the Daytona International Course back in October and remnants still remain reminding us of the event. One in particular lays just behind the ninth green and I believe is a case of art imitating life. I call it “Anthony Weiner” by Mother Nature.
Then there was this:
This Week In Golf Biz: Record LPGA Prize Purse, Caddyshack Yacht For Sale, $35 Billion … “Hey Smails! My dinghy’s bigger than your whole boat”